Murder Hunt!

Changing a school requires a lot of challenging conversations, often involving the whole staff. But if the staff don’t know how to conduct a meeting properly, it’s impossible to have those conversations. So many of our meetings have been dominated by a few loud voices, no one took turns and the female teachers in particular sat silently throughout the meetings.

To change that, I recently ran a staff training session called, ‘Murder Hunt’. It’s a way to develop some rules about how to conduct a meeting. It’s something I’ve done often with students in the UK – have a look here to see how it works.

The teachers loved it – and almost solved the murder! – and out of it we developed three rules for our meetings:

  1. Everyone be willing to speak.
  2. Everyone listen and respect each other’s views
  3. Put your hand up to speak (the chairperson will decide the order of speaking)

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The other problem we have faced is that some of our teachers don’t know our students’ names, including students they teach everyday. So we played a little game, where we showed them photos of students and asked them to write down their names. I was happy to see most teachers, knew most of the students’ name, but it was a fairly non-confrontational way to nudge those who don’t know students’ names, to learn them quickly.

Teaching is about relationships, and if you don’t know someone’s name, you can’t have a relationship with them.

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